Tonight when you go to bed, after you turn out the light but before you fall asleep, sit in the dark for a few minutes and take notice of your surroundings. Examine all your senses before you conk out and then see if it brings you creative dreams.
As your eyes adjust to the dark, listen to the world. It’s quieter, sure, but what sound there is seems more vivid. Is there traffic in the street outside? Can you hear yourself breathe?
What can you taste? The last swig of beer at the bar? Your lover’s lipstick? The toothpaste you used to brush your teeth?
By now your eyes are probably adjusted to the dark. Do you recognize your furniture? How does it look different in the half-light? Look at the silhouette of your hands. Does each finger have the same shape?
Feel around. Are the sheets smooth or textured? What do the buttons on your pajamas feel like? Can you tell what’s under the bed? (Beware of monsters.)
Now it’s time to drift off to dreamland. As you snuggle under the covers, take a long deep breath. What scents waft through your night? Potpourri? Unwashed pillowcases? Books?
(This exercise is a good way to calm your mind and put yourself back to sleep after waking up from a nightmare…)